Saturday, November 28 , 2015, 12:15 pm | Partly Cloudy 63º

givezooks! Makes Online Nonprofit Fundraising a Social Event

Harding School's hawk weathervane the latest project to take advantage of local startup's digital donation process

The givezooks! team, from left, includes James Moline, Chris Giles, Joelle Benvenuto, Joe Fazio, Steve Wong, Justin Michael, John Evangelista, Carol Schrader, Eric Schrader and Dave Parsin. (givezooks! photo)
The givezooks! team, from left, includes James Moline, Chris Giles, Joelle Benvenuto, Joe Fazio, Steve Wong, Justin Michael, John Evangelista, Carol Schrader, Eric Schrader and Dave Parsin. (givezooks! photo)

By Andrea Ellickson, Noozhawk Intern |

Noozhawk’s note: Noozhawk and givezooks! are proud to participate in a project to replace Harding School’s hawk weathervane, which was stolen earlier this summer. Read on to learn how you can help.

Gadzooks! How do we get our weathervane back?

On the tail of the recent theft of Harding School’s hawk weathervane, Noozhawk and givezooks! have partnered together for a fundraising drive to bring the Hawk back to Harding.

“When we first had this idea, I immediately thought of givezooks!” said Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen. “Givezooks! is a local startup, about our age, and they’ve been a strategic partner of ours from the beginning.”

Founded in 2007 by four veteran high-tech executives, givezooks! uses online fundraising combined with social marketing to make nonprofit donation drives easier, reduce costs, and reach a larger range of contributors. There are more than 35 nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara alone that have used givezooks! as a fundraising platform. Givezooks! clients span the nation.

“The givezooks! team is great to work with and the concept has been enormously beneficial for local nonprofit organizations,” Macfadyen said. “It simplifies the entire donation process so the nonprofits actually can focus on what they do best and not have to worry so much about the mechanics of fundraising.”

Nonprofit organizations can accept donations through Axia (another local company), PayPal or other merchant services companies, and can easily analyze their online fundraising results through their own online dashboards. Givezooks!‘s innovative technology has helped its clients raise more than $29 million so far.

“Harding had an immediate need to raise money to replace their historic weathervane,” said Joe Fazio, vice president of product strategy at givezooks!. “Like many nonprofits, Harding did not have a way to accept online donations. Nor did they have a way to reach out to prospective donors through e-mail or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

“The Harding School Foundation used the givezooks! platform to quickly build an online campaign.”

Fazio is a co-founder of the company with Carol and Eric Schrader, the CEO and the vice president of operations, respectively, and David Parsin, vice president of sales and business development.

With the growing popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, nonprofit organizations can market their campaigns quickly and easily. One person can tell hundreds of friends with a single click of the mouse.

Givezooks! even gives individuals the opportunity to raise money on their own for their favorite nonprofit groups. A similar grassroots strategy was used by President Barack Obama’s successful election campaign in 2008. Instead of a small number of big donors, Obama raised almost $300 million for the nominating process from approximately 1.7 million individual donors, according to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

Many major cities have their own givezooks! online communities. Nonprofit organizations, donors, corporations and foundations can sign up to participate in local community projects. The givezooks! online platform can also be used to sell tickets or find sponsors for events.

Other successful Santa Barbara campaigns run via givezooks! include American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter, Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse (CADA), Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, Laguna Blanca School, Marymount of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara High School Multimedia Arts & Design Academy (MAD), Santa Barbara Police Activities League, Storyteller Children’s Center, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Women’s Economic Ventures.

Click here to check out the next generation of philanthropy at givezooks!

Click here to make a tax-deductible online donation to the Harding Hawk Project through givezooks!

Click here to join the Facebook group, Bring Our Hawk Home.

Related stories

» Drive Takes Wing to Replace Harding School’s Stolen Hawk

» Leading Off: Can a Weathervane Really Make a Difference at a School?

» Harding School Has a Proud History, and a Bright Future

Next week: Harding students, teachers learn mathematical reasoning in summer math lab run by UCSB.

Noozhawk intern Andrea Ellickson, a UCSB graduate, is a journalism student at SBCC. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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